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Zombie hard drive

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Timsup2nothin, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    So, one day I turned on my machine to the blue screen of "the boot device is unavailable." Turned it off, turned it back on, booted fine. Thought this was some strange anomaly.

    A few days later it did it again. Same results. Opened it up, did some cleaning, generally poked around. Made sure there was nothing on the C drive I hadn't backed up.

    This got progressively and slowly worse. I'm thinking that for some reason the drive is just having a hard time spinning up to speed as fast as the computer is ready to see what drives there are to work with, but once it has spun a bit turning the machine off and back on it spins right up. I'm also thinking that that is a totally made from spun sugar theory that I have no way to test as valid, or even support with a stray fact.

    This goes on for months. It got to where it required a false start pretty much every day. Once in a while it would take two false starts. I was pricing new drives, contemplating the irritation of a system reinstall...all that stuff. I was ready for it to break down definitively and require replacement.

    Then one day a couple weeks ago I turned on the machine and it booted right up. Done it every day since. :dunno:

    It's not like I plan to relax on maintaining backups for anything that is on that drive or anything, but I'm now in no hurry to get a replacement drive. Not even a question, really. Just weird. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    Gremlins? :dunno:

    But keep the backups up to date. This might be a last moment of clarity before death.
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Mechanical things are weird. Possibly heat-related as to why it would work after being on already. Possibly something shifted or wore down that was causing problems, causing it to work now.

    Even if it appears to be working, unless you have some method of comparing integrity of backups, I'd be concerned about silent data corruption - if you're not careful it's easy to overwrite backups with corrupted copies.

    You can use something like HDD Guardian to check SMART attributes, the important ones that are a signal of potential imminent failure are listed in the SnapRAID FAQ.
     
  4. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Other than being the OS drive there's really very little on this drive, so it doesn't take much to keep up with it. Being a mechanically oriented guy I thought bearings. Some sludge in a sealed bearing that needs to get warmed up...
     
  5. IglooDude

    IglooDude Enforcing Rule 34 Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Reminds me of the failed server drive a few years ago (okay it was at least ten :old: ) where the mirror did not work and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth by senior management about corrupted backups and restoration times. I was asked if I could help, and I took the drive and threw it in the freezer in the breakroom's fridge. Pulled it out after 30min, plugged it into the server, and voila! Bootup, backup created, proper mirror completed, and then it still ran for another week until the maintenance window where they swapped it for fresh and it went into my data destruction target bucket (target for :ar15:).
     
  6. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Judging from what you said it mays as easily be a cable or power supply issue as a disk issue. Though I'd rule out cables since you've poked around and it kept happening.
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I had an Undead ISP once. Back in the days when dialup was giving way to DSL for primary home connections my dialup ISP was working fine, but they stopped billing me. This went on for a few months, and one day I was poking around to see what was up. And my ISP home pages were gone. Email still worked fine. So I tried to call them. Phone number didn't work. Called 411, and they had no record of that company existing in the city they were based in. But my service still worked fine.
     

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